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Jennifer Lopez Documentary Shows How Singer Dealt With Racism From Conan O'Brien And South Park

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Jennifer Lopez Documentary Shows How Singer Dealt With Racism From Conan O'Brien And South Park

Jennifer Lopez has opened up about how she dealt with racism throughout her career. 

The 52-year-old singer is at the centre of the recently released Netflix documentary Halftime, which delves into the global superstar's success and the pressure of life in the spotlight.

One of the aspects of her life that comes into focus is the media scrutiny she faced in the 00s, with many choosing to focus on her body and rumoured ‘diva behaviour’ rather than her music, acting and parenting.

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Most shocking of all has been the reminders of the racism she faced as a Latina woman, including from big names in the media such as TV personality Conan O’Brien. 

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In one throwback scene, the host tells the audience that he’s got ‘our script intern’ to play her partner Ben Affleck and ‘our cleaning lady’ as Lopez to stand in for the couple in a sketch. 

An unnamed publication was also quoted in the documentary as saying about Affleck: "Don't get friendly with the help, let alone marry them."

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What’s shocking is not only the blatant racism that circulated in the media, but also the fact that it was so widely accepted. 

This is emphasised by the reminder of Lopez’s portrayal in South Park, with an episode seeing Cartman turning the star into a hand doll who sings a song titled ‘Taco-Flavoured Kisses’. 

The South Park creators faced criticism for their racist depiction of Jennifer Lopez. Credit: Comedy Central
The South Park creators faced criticism for their racist depiction of Jennifer Lopez. Credit: Comedy Central

Alongside the racism she faced, Halftime also examines the media’s obsession with her personal life in the 00s and how this impacted her mental state. 

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“Their appetite to cover my personal life overshadowed everything that was happening in my career,” she said.

“I just had a very low self-esteem. I really believed a lot of what they said, which is that I wasn’t very good." 

Affleck, who is now engaged to Lopez, also appeared in the documentary, stating: "I said to her once, 'Doesn't this bother you?'

Conan O'Brien also featured a racist sketch about the singer on his show. Credit: NBC
Conan O'Brien also featured a racist sketch about the singer on his show. Credit: NBC
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“And she said, 'I'm Latina, I'm a woman. I expected this.'"

On how she made it through those difficult times, Lopez explained: “I had to really figure out who I was and believe in that and not believe anything else.”

Elaborating further on how she’s overcome the issues caused by the discrimination inflicted upon her, the singer told Rolling Stone that she’s ‘become much more spiritual’ since having children.

She often prays and says positive affirmations throughout the day such as ‘I am whole’ and ‘I love the universe, the universe loves me’.

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Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck announced their engagement in April 2022. Credit: Alamy
Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck announced their engagement in April 2022. Credit: Alamy

She said: “I try to always live from a place of gratitude.

"But today, especially, if you ask me what my first thought was, it was, ‘Thank you. Thank you, God, for this day. Thank you for my life, what it is.’”

UNILAD has contacted a representative for Conan O'Brien and NBC for a comment.

Halftime is available to watch on Netflix now.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@jlo/Alamy

Topics: Music, Racism, Jennifer Lopez, Netflix, Film and TV, South Park

Daisy Phillipson
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